The California High football team won its first outright East Bay Athletic League championship after beating host Livermore 21-3 on Friday, clinching the title in a game that was closer than some may have expected.

After scoring on the first drive of the game on a 9-yard pass from quarterback Cameron Owen to CJ Cornwell, visiting California (8-1, 6-0 EBAL) was held by a stout Livermore (2-7, 0-5) defense for the rest of the half.

Owen left the game late in the second quarter with an injury. Fellow senior quarterback Matt Lorenz finished the game. However, the Livermore offense failed to put together sustained drives, and the teams went into halftime with a score of 7-3.

That's when California head coach Eric Billeci said his team needed to "buckle down" and play to its potential.

"We had to look at ourselves in the mirror a little bit at halftime and realize we were underachieving," Billeci said.

The Grizzlies opened the second half with a 78-yard touchdown run by senior running back Blake Bierwith for a 14-3 lead. The California defense held, forcing two turnovers and making key stops to keep Livermore out of the end zone.

Bierwith finished with 165 yards on 16 carries and scored two touchdowns. For Livermore, junior James Silva carried 21 times for 111 yards. Cowboys quarterback Steven Chappell was picked off twice.


Advertisement

San Ramon Valley 54, Foothill 42: Marcus De La Pena had in the first quarter what most would consider a great game, gaining 86 yards on the ground with three scores to help send the Wolves to the EBAL win over the Falcons. De La Pena scored five times for the game and gained 162 yards.

The Wolves (5-4, 4-1 EBAL) shook off last week's loss to California.

"It was a big win, because we were a team that was a little deflated after last week," San Ramon Valley coach Mark Kessler said.

San Ramon Valley had won three straight before last week. The Falcons (7-2, 3-2) were done in by five first-half turnovers, four of them fumbles, and had seven turnovers in the game.

The sloppy ball protection overshadowed an 11-reception, 114-yard performance by Ryan Anderson.

-- Matt Smith, correspondent

Granada 42, Amador Valley 21: The Matadors' Javonn Williams scored a career-high three touchdowns, including a key 61-yard punt return in the second quarter when host Granada (5-4, 2-3 EBAL) took control.

"That was great blocking by everybody on my team," said the 6-foot-1 Williams about his punt return for a score. "One cutback, and I was gone."

The Matadors held a slim 14-7 lead before Williams' punt return for a score gave them a cushion.

Amador Valley (5-4, 2-3) drew to within two touchdowns late in the third quarter on a 27-yard pass from Ronnie Jones to Collin Miller.

It was the third time the two combo hooked up for touchdowns in the game, and Miller finished with nine catches for 120 yards.

Williams scored on a 44-yard reception from reserve quarterback Brian Barnett with 6:57 remaining for the final touchdown of the game. Williams also produced the first touchdown on a 9-yard pass from Tyler Offill. Williams finished with four catches for 68 yards.

-- Phil Jensen